How to Create a Desk Scenery Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator Part 3

Because essentially all the books have the same width, height and outline, we will create the first one, and then create variations based on it to get the rest.

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 60 x 8 px shape, which we will color using #B86F52. Create a copy of the object (Control-C > Control-F) and then give it a 6 px outline using the Offset Path effect, making sure to set the Joins to Round. Group the two and then position them on top of the desk, towards the right side at about 51 px from the MacBook.

positioning the first book

Enter Isolation Mode by double clicking on the book (or right click > Isolate Selected Group) and using theRectangle Tool (M) create a 60 x 2 px black shape. Set its Blending Mode to Multiply while lowering itsOpacity to 30%. Then create a bunch of decorative elements using rectangles of different widths, coloring all of them using #453F3C. Once you’re done, simply press Escape to exit Isolation Mode.

first book finished

Make a copy of the book that we’ve just created (Control-C > Control-F) and then move it towards the top left side using the Move tool. To do that, simply select the duplicate right click > Transform > Move and enter -7 px for the Horizontal value field and -14 px for the Vertical one.

positioning the second book using the Move tool

Select the second book and enter Isolation Mode so that you can tweak its appearance, by changing the color of the cover to #797270 and modifying the decorative elements to something different.

second book finished

Create the third and last book by using the same trick with the Move tool. First, create a duplicate from the first book and then position it by entering 5 px into the Horizontal value field and -28 px into the Verticalone.

Once you’ve done that, change the cover’s color to #F78764, play around with the decorations, and then make sure to change the top section shadow to a highlight by coloring it white and then setting itsBlending Mode to Overlay and its Opacity to 30%.

third book finished

Make sure you’re on the trash can layer, and using the Rounded Rectangle Tool create a 46 x 68 px shape with a Corner Radius of 6 px. Color the object using #453F3C, and then using the Direct Selection Tool (A)remove its top middle anchor points.

Next, add a 34 x 66 px rectangle (highlighted with red) with a Corner Radius of 2 px on top, leaving a gap of 6 px between it and the bottom side of the previously created object.

With both of the shapes selected, use Pathfinder’s Minus Front option to create a cutout which will act as our trash can interior. Create another shape that covers the top rounded corners and remove these also, so that in the end your shape resembles a tall “U”-like shape.

creating the trash can

Once you have your base shape, add a bunch of rectangles: 12 vertical (with the Height set to 2 px) and eight horizontal (with the Width set to 2 px), spacing them at 2 px from one another. Color them using#797270 and then make sure to send them to the back of the trash can’s outline (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

trash can finished

Start by creating a 64 x 56 px rectangle with a Corner Radius of 2 px. Color the shape using #E2E0E0, duplicate it (Control-C > Control-F), and then create an outline by applying an Offset Path effect of 6 px to the copy, making sure to change its color to #453F3C and send it to the back afterwards (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

With both of the objects selected, press Control-G to group them, and then position them using these coordinates into the Transform panel:

  • X: 469 px
  • Y: 199 px
positioning the calendars base shape

Enter Isolation Mode by double clicking on the calendar, and then create a copy of the lighter section and color it using #797270. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select its bottom middle anchor points and remove them by pressing Delete. Unite the remaining anchors using Control-J, and then with the bottom ones selected, right click > Transform > Move. Enter -46 px into the Vertical value field, leaving the Horizontal one set to 0 px.

adding the top darker section to the calendar

Add a 64 x 4 px rectangle underneath the previously created shape and color it using #453F3C.

adding the bottom delimiter to the top section

Add a 4 px tall highlight and shadow to give it the same visual treatment as we used on the other objects.

adding the highlight and shadow to the calendar

Using the Ellipse Tool (L) create two 4 x 4 px circles, color them using #453F3C, and then distance them at40 px from one another, making sure to group (Control‑G) and then horizontally and vertically align them to the darker top section of our calendar.

adding the bullet holes to the calendar

Create four rows of seven 4 x 4 px squares (#453F3C), distancing both the elements and the rows at 4 pxfrom one another. Remove the first square of the top row and the last one of the bottom row, and then apply some different colors (#797270 for the slightly lighter ones and #F78764 for the orange highlighted one) to some of the day indicators to make it more interesting. Group all the squares together (Control-G) and then both vertically and horizontally center them to the lower empty section of our calendar.

adding the day indicators to the calendar

Finish off the calendar by creating a 2 x 2 px circle (#E2E0E0) with a 2 px outline (#453F3C) which will act as our wall pin. Then using the Pen Tool (P) trace the string starting from the left bullet hole’s center, going up to the center of the pin and then back down to the second bullet hole, setting the stroke to 2 px.

calendar finished

That’s it! If you followed each step correctly you should now have a cute looking desk scenery, which you can further tweak by adding or rearranging objects depending on your personal taste. I hope you had fun doing this little illustration, but most importantly I hope you learned something new along the way.

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